Originally written by DENIS BELDEN
SOME of Australia’s best rodeo riders and bulls will be in action at Dartmoor tomorrow night for the third annual Dartmoor Chute Out.
The rodeo circuit around south-west Victoria has become particularly strong in recent years, and the Dartmoor event has proven to be one of the most popular.
As usual Woodall Rodeo Promotions will unveil some of their best stock for their home event, and some of Australia’s best riders will meet them head on.
“We have a number of Australian champions coming to compete in the open bull ride,” event coordinator Gavin Woodall said.
The open bull ride is the major event of the evening with $5000 in prizemoney up for grabs.
Woodall himself and Scott Fraser are former Australian Professional Rodeo Association national champions, while Brett Padgen is currently leading this year’s pro tour.
Jason O’Hearn is a past Championship Bull Riders series winner, while Lindsay Friend and Garth Beauchamp have held national rookie titles on the tour.
Making up the big names is last year’s Australian Bushman’s Carnival Rodeo Association national bull rider champion Ben Jones.
In all 50 bulls will be put out on the night with all riders aiming to not only survive the full eight seconds, but to impress the judges along the way.
“There are two judges who award 50 points each, 25 for the rider and 25 for the way the bull bucks.
“The better the bull bucks the more points you will get. Usually bulls that have a lot of kicks and turn back both ways will get you the most points.”
Last year Beauchamp thrilled the crowd when he was able to equal the Australian record of 92 points when he rode Sugar Max.
“Sugar Max has only been ridden three times in his career. Garth did it last year at Dartmoor, and Steve Atkins who is also coming this weekend has also ridden him.”
Other bulls to look out for include Man Kind, Viking, Chucka Howley and Buffalo Brandenberg.
The rookie bull riders will also get a chance to strut their stuff in the second division bull ride, while the barrel (senior and junior) races always prove popular.
There are also a number of novelty events which are sure to keep the crowd entertained and amused.
The wild cow milking event involves teams of three having to catch a wild cow, squirt milk into a bucket, then carry the bucket across the finish line.
A new event this year is the station buck jump, which will see riders on a bucking horse but using a stock saddle.
A big hit last year was the footballers’ steer ride.
“That went off really well last year. We put 24 riders through and a lot were really impressive. There were some there that I didn’t think would have a go, but they got on and rode well.”
All local footballers are eligible to enter tomorrow, but will have to be quick to enter with only limited numbers available.
Gates open at 3pm, and riding will start at 6pm and go through to about 9pm.
That will be followed by entertainment from a Melbourne-based band.
Camping is available at the ground with breakfast available the next morning.
All proceeds from the catering will got to the Dartmoor football, netball and cricket clubs.
Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children aged 5-15, kids under five years are free. Family tickets are also available for $30.